As head of the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association, Boonanan Pattanasin has seen some businesses heat up since Oct. 1, but sales for his personal ice and drinking water companies remain cool.
Boonanan, an executive with the Racha Group, which includes Banglamung Ice Ltd. and a local Tiger drinking water bottler, said Oct. 16 that business has picked up only on weekends, but the total revenue increase is negligible.
He blamed a lack of domestic tourists on weekdays, but the fact Pattaya restaurants can’t legally serve alcohol and bars remain closed is probably the real reason no one is buying ice.
Boonanan said many businesses aren’t stocking up on drinking water, as they’re uncertain how many Thai tourists and expats will visit Pattaya this month and how many foreigners will return come November.
Even if Pattaya reopens to fully vaccinated foreign tourists next month, the PBTA president doesn’t think there will be any significant number of visitors until January.
He criticized the central government for announcing a Nov. 1 reopening but, 16 days away, not releasing vital details and regulations tourists need to make bookings. Foreigners don’t come at the drop of a hat; planning vacations take time and planning, Boonanan said.